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Choosing PHP in 2018

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Andrew Davis
Apr. 29, 2018 • 3m 6s

I bet you do not see those words very often.

We live in a time where there are a plethora of programming languages and frameworks. As web developers, we have so many options, it can be very difficult to know what to learn and use to build a modern website. If you check StackOverflow, Hacker News or Twitter, you will see thousands of different opinions about what language you should be using. In many cases, you will see developers making fun of PHP, trying to convince you to use something “better”. I am here to tell you not to listen to them.

PHP has a low reputation for a couple reasons. First, the standard library lacks some consistency in a few areas. Second, it is a more approachable language leading to more beginners using it and some poorly architected systems being made. Both problems are easily combated with better training and education which we have plenty of in 2018.

By contrast, PHP has some great features going for it. First, it has several excellent web frameworks like Laravel and Symfony. Both are easy to learn and give you a great head start in building a website. Second, PHP is modernizing with better speed and excellent package management with Composer. The PHP 7 series has provided almost double performance, making it a very snappy scripting language. Composer provides great third-party package management on par or better than others like npm or Bundler. Third, PHP has an excellent object oriented class system and also supports functional programming features. It’s object oriented nature makes it simpler to write maintainable, clean and organized code. Fourth, PHP is still one of the easiest languages to deploy to a server. Most web hosts support a one-click install for PHP making it really easy to get your site in the hands of users.

It is a great time to start learning PHP. Don’t worry about the haters, just go make something great!

If you want to learn more, here are a few sites that have helped me:

If you have been using PHP, write a comment about it so everyone can see the cool stuff you are building with it!

The PHP logo is from: